Location: Monterico, Guatemala
I couldn´t find anyone to travel with me to an isolated beach, so I took multiple buses to the Pacific coast town of Monterico and beside the mosquitos at night it has been wonderful. Tonight is my last night here and it has been both tranquil and fun. I have spent my days on the black volcanic sand beach swimming in the big waves and reading and found two Candians and an Icelander to talk with at night and play cards and a couple locals as well. Yesterday was my adventure day as I woke up before sunrise and took a pole boat tour of the mangrove swamps to see the sunrise, it was amazing and they have these cool four eyed fish similar to a mudskipper. And to top that, I got to release a baby turtle at sunset yesterday, holding it in my hands was one of the most amazing experinces in my life. I took video with my camera and hope it came out well. Today I will relax on the beach and then tomorrow afternoon I head off to Antigua for my last two nights before flying out early on Saturday to return to the US. Love to you all and I wish I could upload my photos but this internet is slow, so I will share with you when I get home! See you soon!
Location: Xela, Guatemala
The full moon hike to the top of Santa Maria Volcano was grueling and exhausting but so so worth it! The climb was steep and over the 4.5 hour hike we gained over 2500 feet in elevation. Needless to say I was one of the last to reach the top. Atop the mountain we found shelter amongst the rocks to stay warm and then had a triple treat. First an amazing moonset, nearly full and glowing orangish yellow. Then the next volcano over, Santaguita did its clockwork 45 minute eruption spewing cloud and smoke which we were above to watch. And then came the sunrise, which is probably the best I have ever seen. Check out the pictures, they do not do it justice, but give you an idea. I had a hard time picking 12, so when I return I will have a lot more to share. I came back and slept and then headed with a friend from Ireland to a random town NW of Xela in the mountains to get our Mayan horoscope read, which was unfortunately cheezy and to check out Los Riscos which were small but interesting, again check out the pictures. The highlights of Momostenango were meeting the town loco and getting stuck in the middle of a procession celebrating the Virgin of Guadelupe and seeing them in their costumes that I am pretty sure were Xena Warrior princess. Today I am doing errands and trying to find someone to head to the beach with, if I do I will go to a quiet beach near the Mexico border and if not I will head to Monterico south of Guatemala City. Probably will only hope on the internet once more before my return in one week.
Location: Xela, Guatemala
It seems as though my heart has led me to the town of Quetzaltenango, known as Xela by the locals, in far western Guatemala. Darcel and I skipped here to head to Coban instead in order to make a full loop and because the weather is horrible in the Bay Islands of Honduras right now, I decided to backtrack and come visit Xela and I am glad that I did. It is a wonderful city, though it is second in size to only Guatemala City it has a small town feel and is very safe. I was planning to stay here only three days, but will probably now stay until Friday or so. I spent the first night hanging out with 8 new Peace Corps volunteers and then the following day explored the city including a Marimba concert on the square and an artesan market. On Monday, I travelled with 5 other backpackers to the sacred Mayan lake Chicabel, which was a difficult 5 kilometer ascent but well worth it. Yesterday, to relax, I went with 5 others to the most amazing hot springs nestled in the local mounains called Fuentes Georginas. Today I am catching up on errands like Laundry and bank and internet and tonight I am trekking with a group of 30 people to the top of the Volcan Santa Maria in the full moon and we will arrive to watch sunset from the top. It is supposed to have some amazing views including that of a nearby active volcano which erupts every 30 minutes. That means I will come back tomorrow afternoon and take a day of rest before I head out most likely to another mountain town called Nebaj. And I know my parents will appreciate this, last night I took a free Salsa class, I have zero skills. Love to you all!
Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Our adventure to the Copan Ruins was fabulous. It was a quiant, sweet town in Honduras and the statues at the ruins were the best I have seen of all of the Mayan sites I have been to. We spent three nights there and this morning took an early shuttle to Guatemala City as alas Darcel leaves for the States early tomorrow morning. My current plan is to remain in Guatemala and head to Quetzaltenango and further explore the western reaches of the country. I think I will eventually head back east and go to the Bay Islands in Honduras, but we shall see, for now, I am taking it one day at a time and will see where my heart leads me.
Location: Copan Ruinas, Honduras
Just a quick note to say that we are happy and well (actually Darcel has a stomache bug) and in the town of Copan Ruinas to visit the Mayan ruins of Copan just outside of Town. We are spending three nights here and will then head to Guatemala City on Friday so Darcel can catch a plane for the US on Saturday, here Central American adventure is coming to an end. I will return to Honduras for 10 or so days to visit a couple of colonial towns, national parks and chill at the beach. I´ll keep you posted here and as a side note, I found a great internet connection and just posted a ton of pictures.
Location: Livingston, Guatemala
We are in Livingston for the second day and tomorrow derpart early for the Copan Ruins in Honduras, it will be a long bus ride, but worth the effort from all that we have heard. Tikal was amazing, we saw greatwildlife and climbed five of the seven main temples. Walking all through the jungle to find each set. We then caught a bus to the town of Rio Dulce and spent the night at a cool little hotel in the jungle and had a relaxing evening. We then took an amazing boat tour from Rio Dulce to the Garifuna enclave of Livingston. We are staying at a hilarious hotel that was an old Moorish compund. We had some amazing experiences with the Garifuna people inmcluding one who lives in Wilmington and was here for a sad occasion. We decided to spend an extra day here and today we went to the Seven Altars waterfalls which were mostly dry and playa blanca a funny beach in the middle of nowhere. The ride back was quite rough yet adventurous. We will relax tonight and head off to the town of Copan Ruiñas in Honduras for Darcels last few days before she heads out from the Guatemala City airport. It has been quite an amazing adventure.
Location: Flores, Guatemala
We took the road less travelled and headed from Chichi by chicken buses and minibuses to Coban which took us from Chichi to Quiche to Sacapulas to Uspantan and across a mostly dirt road where our progress was halted for 30 minutes by a mudslide and finally arrived in Coban. It was a wonderful town where we relaxed, ate well, visited a coffee plantation and then took and amazing all day adventure to the waterfalls of Semuc Champey and the caves of Grutas Languin. Absoluitely incredible, words don´t describe it so check out the pictures. I will try and post the cave pictures soon but my current internet connection sucks. We are now in Flores and head off to the most amaizing Mayan ruins of Tikal and then onto Rio Dulce and Livingston. I will try to post again from there, but may not be able to until we head to the Copan ruins.
Location: Chichicastenango, Guatemala
We spent four wonderful nights on Lago Atitlan. The first night in the town of Panajachel and then we took a public ferry across the lake and spent 3 peaceful and relaxing nights in San Marcos de Laguna, mostly taking short hikes and swimming in the beautiful lake. We then caught three different "chicken buses" which are old bluebird school buses from the US and made our way to chichicastenango in the state of Quiche. It has the largest market in Guatemala and was very overwhelming. But we are staying at a cute guest house with a fireplace and tonight will have a fire and a bottle of wine before we head north deeper into the mountains to the village of Nebaj and eventually to the town of Coban for hiking and waterfalls and more. I will try and post again sometime from Coban.
Location: Panajachel, Guatemala
We are spending the night at a cute hotel in Panajachel on the shore of Lago Atitlan and headed out tomorrow morning across the lake by boat to San Marcos de Lagun which is supposed to be incredibly peaceful. We plan to spend three nights out there and may make a day trip or two to other villages. It is unlikely I will be back at a computer for the next few days.
Location: Antigua, Guatemala, Guatemala
We had a fun hike yesterday up to Volcan Pacaya an active volcano an hour outside Antigua. Darcel got to ride a horse. Today we head to Lago Atitlan and the town of Panachel, I will try to post pictures soon.
Location: Antigua, Guatemala, Guatemala
We arrived in Guatemala on Saturday and hopped a shared cab to Antigua where we have spent the last two days exploring the city and its churches and many nooks and crannies. This afternoon we headed to Vulcan Pacuna and tomorrow we head to Lake Atitlan.
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA
It has been a time of great healing, hope and relaxation with one of my oldest and wisest friends in New Mexico. Today I hopefully released the rest of this cold with the help of tableside guacamole, lots of sleep, ancient chocolate, and an amazing massage. In four hours I leave for the airport and Guatemala where I will reunite with Darcel and begin the next stage of my journey. Until then... much love!
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA
It has been a wonderful week in Santa Fe spending time with an old friend and his amazing partner. Incredible scenery, including a nice hike in the snow dusted Santa Fe Canyon; incredible food including masala dosa at an indian restaurant and amazing green chile sauce at Pasquals; two yoga sessions led by an amazing teacher; and a trip to a Japanese bathhouse. Today we head off to the healing waters of Ojo Caliente, which will hopefully help me knock out this obnoxious cold I have which is really starting to get annoying. Tomorrow the plan is a hike at tent rock if we feel better (my friend is sick too) and then I head off to Albuquerque to fly to Guatemala early Saturday morning. Not sure if I have the mojo to post pictures, if I feel better tonight, I may try.
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Amazing night in a cabin in the woods in the Carson NF outside of Taos. Beautiful scenery amidst the trees and alongside a beautiful creek. Best part was the roaring pinyon pine fire that kept us warm at night and the companionship of two pretty amazing people. The drive both ways was stunning and was followed by a lazy day. Today it is snowing lightly but hopefully it will fade away as we are planning a hike later this morning. I took a few pictures, but will save uploading them until after the hike today.
Location: Santa Fe, NM, USA
I arrived yesterday in New Mexico hear to visit an old friend and his amazing partner in Santa Fe. Travel was easy, rental car was hilarious and so far it has been peaceful and relaxing. Today we are off to the mountains for a hike and a night in a cabin to enjoy the solitude of the local mountains. I'll post some pics when I have them. Much love!
Location: Asheville, NC, USA
Tomorrow, I head off on a six week adventure to New Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. I hope to keep this page regularly updated and so if you have any interest in finding where I am in the world, you can check here. Updates of course are dependent on finding internet cafes and time to write, so be patient and I will do my best. Love to you all and of course you can email me if you would like to be in touch.